17,000+ vaccinated in six states on day two: Health Ministry
Across six states — Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur, and Tamil Nadu — more than 17,000 people got the first dose of coronavirus vaccine on the second day of the inoculation drive, the Union Health Ministry said last evening. With this, the number of people to have got the first shot swelled to 2.24 lakh. Here are more details.
Dr. Manohar Agnani, Health Ministry Joint Secretary, informed that states and union territories have been advised to conduct vaccinations on only four days a week so as to not disrupt routine health services. "Today being Sunday only six states conducted vaccination sessions," he said. The Ministry added that most of the adverse reactions were minor in nature, like swelling at the injection site.
"A total of 447 AEFI (adverse events following immunization) have been reported on January 16 and 17, out of which only three required hospitalizations. Most of the AEFI reported so far are minor like fever, headache, nausea," he revealed.
Only Andhra Pradesh will have inoculation sessions six days per week while Mizoram will conduct vaccinations on five days. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal will conduct vaccinations on four days.
To recall, India's coronavirus vaccination drive, the largest in the world, kicked off on Saturday at over 3,000 sites. The program was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who hailed scientists and researchers for developing vaccines in a record time. An emotional PM also underlined that healthcare workers were put first in line for the doses as a "tribute."
Notably, India was to administer the doses to at least three lakh people on Saturday but less than two lakh were inoculated. While the government didn't reveal why fewer people showed up, speculations suggested since the Centre made getting inoculated voluntary, there was a lesser footfall at the sites. Yet India's first day numbers were better than the US, the UK, and France, Agnani revealed yesterday.
Dr. Suneela Garg, Director Professor at the Department of Community Medicine in Maulana Azad Medical College, said that people still have apprehensions about vaccines and it will take some time to instill confidence in them. "This needs intense positive communication and universal acceptance of the vaccine by health workers so that the general public is ready," she told TOI.
In Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well as Andhra Pradesh, less than 10% absenteeism was recorded. The most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, administered the first dose to 22,644 people. Reportedly, Maharashtra and Bihar recorded a 60-65% attendance on day one. As known by now, three crore healthcare and frontline workers will be inoculated before the priority population of those aged above 50.